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Wheelchair rugby gets a boost

As a keen rugby fan and having an unavoidable interest in wheelchairs i do find wheelchair rugby good to watch and can fully appreciate the skill and intricacy of the game played. It must take an awful lot of guts to play wheelchair rugby at any level so to watch at international level is to me very exciting.

It is therefore interesting and possible great news to read that next years World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge will be held at London's Copper Box Arena at the same time as the Rugby World Cup.

Sometimes called murderball, wheelchair rugby has previously attracted massive sell out crowds especially during the 2012 Paralympics and seems to have continued to grow in popularity since.

GB captain Mike Kerr has given his word that the sport will now get more coverage and more promotion due to its boom in popularity -

"Events like that are very important for the future of the sport," Scotsman Kerr, 32, told BBC Sport.

There is such a big interest in the Rugby World Cup so having this event in conjunction with it is a huge opportunity and hopefully it will have a snowball effect.
"The game was a huge hit at 2012 and each game we played in London was in front of 10,000-strong crowds so hopefully we can experience that again."

This is great news in itself as the competition is due to feature 8 of the worlds finest wheelchair rugby teams including paralympians from all over the globe.

Last week saw the launch of WWRC with good old Boris Johnson alongside England rugby union international Mike Brown, the GB ambassador for the sport. Boris in a wheelchair was quite a sight but as ever Boris remained calm and jovial and managed surprisingly well considering all.

So things are looking up for the sport and i am certainly looking forward to October when it will run between the 11th and 16th. The GB Wheelchair Rugby CE had this to say when he admitted although things are going well for the sport there is still plenty to do:

"We want the World Challenge to be a festival of rugby where people can see some top-class action but get as many people involved and also have it as a fundraising opportunity to take the sport on," he said.

"Our aim in the future is to give anyone the chance to experience the joy of the sport and allow as many people have a club near them where they can enjoy it but we need to raise more money to enable us to do that."

It is great news to see various wheelchair sports coming in to the spotlight albeit slowly. It would seem that the more exposure each sport gets the more benefit is seen and for most of these sports this is being passed down to local club level with more wheelchair users becoming involved.

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